FAIRVIEW, Ala. – With the championship for the AHSAA 5A Region 8 on the line, the Russellville Golden Tigers traveled to Fairview to take on the Aggies in the final Region game for both teams. After keeping it close in the first quarter, the Tigers pulled away for a 41-14 win. Fairview finishes second in the Region and will have a home game when the playoffs begin.
Star Fairview running back Eli Frost was looking to continue his excellent season. Fairview took the opening kickoff on their own 26-yard line. Two runs by Frost gained six yards and a penalty against Russellville had a Fairview first down. Unfortunately, Frost left the game with an injury and did not return. Fairview’s drive stalled after four more downs, and they punted the ball.
Fairview’s defense held the Tigers and forced a quick punt. Starting on their own 31, the Aggies used two big runs by Barrett York and Carson Jones to get Fairview deep in Russellville territory. York topped off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Kolt Redding’s extra point made the score 7-0 with 3:12 left to go in the first quarter.
After a quick pass incompletion, Conner Warhurst scored on a 65-yard touchdown run. The extra point tied the score with 2:45 left in the first quarter.
Near the end of the first quarter, York completed a 34-yard pass to Jameson Goble to put the Aggies in great field position. On the first play of the second quarter, York hooked up with Goble again on a 31-yard touchdown pass. After the extra point, Fairview led 14-7 with 11:52 left in the second quarter.
On the first play on the next possession for the Tigers, Goble intercepted quarterback Harrison Burch and set the Aggies up in Russellville’s 47-yard line. Three running plays left the Aggies short, and they had to punt.
On Russellville’s first play after the punt, Burch completed a 68-yard pass to Randall Johnson for a touchdown and the Tigers tied the ballgame at 14 with 9:01 left in the half.
The Aggies failed to get a first down on their next possession. On the punt return, Russellville was penalized for a blind-side block and pushed the Tigers back to their own six-yard line. On the fourth play of the series, Burch completed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Torey King and gave the Tigers their first lead of the game 21-14 with 4:46 left in the second quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Aggies fumbled, and the Tigers took over at the Fairview 29-yard line. On the fourth play, Warhurst scored on an eight-yard touchdown run and the Tigers extended their lead to 28-14 with 2:56 left in the first half.
After three plays, the Aggies were forced to punt. A bad snap caused the punter to fall on the ball and the Tigers took over on the Fairview nine-yard line. Two plays later, Warhurst scored the last touchdown of the half and with 1:05 left in the first half, the Tigers led 34-14.
In the second half, the Aggies were unsuccessful on two drives. The Tigers had two, time-consuming drives that ended with turning the ball over on fourth down and a missed field goal and the third quarter ended with the same score 34-14.
The fourth quarter continued like the third quarter. The Aggies had only one possession and turned the ball over on downs when Caiden Hall was tackled short on fourth down.
Russellville’s first possession of the fourth quarter resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Cameron Phinizee to make the final score 41-14.
After the game, Aggies Head Coach George Redding said, “It was a tough game. I was proud of the team as they continued to fight. Had to overcome some injuries and guys stepped up and played hard”.
Fairview travels to Randolph High School in Huntsville for the final game of the regular season next week.
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